This April Fool’s Sale is no joke!

Save on some silly stories featuring our favorite fools

Don’t let the name fool you because this sale is no Joke! Right now we’re making a slew of hilarious weird, dangerously funny, and off the wall series on sale celebrating our favorite fools during the April Fool’s Manga Sale!

That’s right! You can take up to 50% off select titles from such manga series as the silly school days saga of Aho-Girl : A Clueless Girl, or try the oddball slice-of-life CITY. You can even save on anime-inspiring series like Magical Sempai, Saint Young Men, and Interviews with Monster Girls. There’s no trick to this sale, but it’s definitely one that would be foolish to pass up!

This sale won’t last long so be sure to visit your favorite digital vendor to save on all the titles above and below up to 50% off: Bookwalker, comiXology, Google Play, Kindle, Nook and izneo. Sale runs from March 30th to April 5th!

~April Fool’s Manga Sale~
See below for the full list of titles being offered during this sale,
and click on the links to read chapter 1s FREE!

Featuring:

Peach Boy Riverside
The Dorm of Love and Secrets
Saint Young Men
Our Fake Marriage
Ao-chan Can’t Study
The Prince’s Romance Gambit
Liar x Liar
CITY
Lovesick Ellie
Magical Sempai
Love and Lies
Aho-Girl : A Clueless Girl
Tsuredure Children
Interviews with Monster Girls
Nodame Cantabile
Kiss Him, Not Me
My Wife is Wagatsuma-san
Genshiken Omnibus

Need laughter in your life? Checkout the Our Fools In April Digital Manga Sale! (Ends 4/6)

Everyone could you a few more laughs in their life right now and to help we’re making some of our most foolish characters and stories part of an amazing April Fools-themed event – the Our Fools in April Digital Manga Sale!

From silly and outlandish slice of life laughs from series like CITY, and Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu, to fantastical comedies like Crocodile Baron and The Knight Cartoonist and Her Orc Editor, and even a few rom-coms like Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku, this sale will have you laughing your cares away at a price that won’t bring you down.

But don’t stop there, we still have our 99¢ Vol. 1 sale happening right now letting you explore even more of what Kodansha Comics and VERTICAL have to offer.

So give all these amazing series a try for 99¢ a volume, and then catch up on the rest for up to 50% off at all participating digital vendors including: BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, Kindle, Nook and izneo. Sale runs from March 31, until April 6.

~Our Fools in April Digital Manga Sale! ~
March 31 – April 6
Click on the featured titles for more info or to read Chapter 1s FREE!

Aho-Girl
Alicia’s Diet Quest
Ao-chan Can’t Study!
Cells NOT at Work!
CITY
Crocodile Baron
Don’t Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro
Ex-Enthusiasts: MotoKare Mania
Good Dog, Cerberus!
Goodbye! I’m Being Reincarnated!
Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu
Kiss Him, Not Me
The Knight Cartoonist and Her Orc Editor
Magical Sempai
My Roomie Is a Dino
Saint Young Men
The Dorm of Love and Secrets
Wotakoi: Love Is Hard for Otaku

Award-Winning Manga Sale featuring A Silent Voice & more: all digital volumes up to 50% off! Ends 02/03

And the Award Goes to … ?

Last year was a big year for Kodansha Comics manga! Winners of the prestigious Kodansha Manga Awards this year include our Perfect World, The Quintessential Quintuplets, What Did You Eat Yesterday?, and To Your Eternity! And add to that list 2019 Eisner Industry Award Winner Tokyo Tarareba Girls!

… but that’s not all! To celebrate, we’re putting all of our past-and-present award winners on sale! Each series is up to 50% off at our digital partners BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, Kindle, MyAnimeList, and nook! Sale ends February 3rd!

~ Kodansha Comics Award-Winning Manga Sale ~
January 28-February 3
Click on the featured titles to read Chapter 1 for FREE!

Ace of the Diamond
Giant Killing
Attack on Titan
Chihayafuru
Space Brothers
Missions of Love
Vinland Saga
Animal Land
Your Lie in April
House of the Sun
Descending Stories
The Seven Deadly Sins
The Full-Time Wife Escapist
Kiss Him, Not Me
Kounodori: Dr. Stork
DAYS
Perfect World
Knights of Sidonia
Altair: A Record of Battles
My Boy in Blue
Quintessential Quintuplets
What Did You Eat Yesterday?
To Your Eternity
Saint Young Men
Negima!

A Silent Voice
Tokyo Tarareba Girls
Chi’s Sweet Home
Flying Witch
Princess Jellyfish
Ajin
Love in Focus
Witch Hat Atelier
Again!!
Frau Faust
Waiting for Spring
Happiness
That Wolf-boy Is Mine!
Junji Ito’s Cat Diary Yon & Mu
No. 6

 

Kodansha Comics & Vertical Holiday Gift Guide 2019!

Looking to be a manga Santa this year? Or maybe you’re looking to give yourself a nice treat to curl up with!

To help out with your gift-hunting, we here at Kodansha Comics thought of the two most important parts of any present: who’s it for and what’s inside? So the following curated selection of manga features information about what you’re getting and who might want to get it!

Nothing feels better than checking off those names from the list (… well, besides seeing them open their gift of course!) Happy Holiday gift hunting!

Magic Knight Rayearth 25th Anniversary Manga Box Set 1

For: CLAMP fans, folks interested in a series with a classic art-style, anyone interested in a magical adventure series with female leads

What’s inside:  This box set includes three volumes of manga covering the entire first series of Magic Knight Rayearth, plus the series’s super-rare full-color art book companion, all printed at a larger size than ever before, on premium paper featuring a newly revised translation and lettering, and exquisite foil-stamped covers.

Get it here

FAIRY TAIL Manga Box Set 1 

For: Any Fairy Tail die-hards and newcomers looking to get into the series now that it’s complete

What’s inside:  Stylish box includes Volumes 1-11 of the magical shonen adventure that became an anime megahit, plus an exclusive bonus sticker sheet!

Get it here

Colorful Dreams 

For:  Anyone. Great gift for any daydreamer, perfect coffee-table art book

What’s inside: a remastered art book by VOFAN, based on his original Taiwan release.

This version features an U.S. exclusive cover,  updated art pieces, table of contents page, a brand new story (dream) and an extended interview with VOFAN! 

Get it here

Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Complete Series Box Set 

For: For any fan looking for an entry point into one of the building blocks of science-fiction manga

What’s inside: This box set includes all five volumes of Battle Angel Alita plus a brand new book of short stories—more than 2,000 pages of manga—in a collector’s box set with special extras.

Get it here

 

Cardcaptor Sakura Collector’s Edition 1+2 

For: Cardcaptor Sakura brought a generation of readers to manga, and now it’s back in a definitive collector’s edition! Any fans of CLAMP, budding shojo readers, and collectors will love this gift!

What’s inside: Cardcaptor Sakura is one of the all-time classics of the magical-girl genre, and the Collector’s Edition will be the definitive version of the story, for both long-time fans and readers new to the story. Each volume comes with a bonus collectible Clow Card!

Get it here

Saint Young Men Volume 1 

For: Anyone interested in a quirky, philosophical manga about friendship and finding a place in the world.

What’s inside: What manga could be more appropriate for Christmas than one featuring Jesus … with his roommate Buddha in a flat in western Tokyo!?  This highly anticipated print release of one of the most talked about series comes with an extra-large 2-in-1 premium hardcover!

Get it here

MONOGATARI Series Box Set, Season 2 

For:  MONOGATARI fans! 

What’s inside: With the overwhelming popularity of the first box set of NISIOISIN’s MONOGATARI Series, we now present to you this beautiful new box set featuring all the novels of Season 2! 

VOFAN has created new artwork exclusively for the project, which wraps around the package. Plus a beautiful art card included as a bonus item showcasing the Season 2 characters!

Get it here

Paradise Kiss 20th Anniversary Edition 

For:  Ai Yazawa fans and fashionable people! 

What’s inside:  A beautiful omnibus edition of Paradise Kiss celebrating 20 years since the serialization began in Japan. 

This 3-in-1 package features a new cover, color inserts and more! 

Get it here

Sailor Moon Eternal Edition

For: It’s the best way to read the series, it’s easy to read, and made with the power of love (and high quality printing.) Any fan of Sailor Moon would be THRILLED to get these!

What’s inside: The guardians in sailor suits return in this definitive edition of the greatest magical girl manga of all time! Features all-new cover illustrations by creator Naoko Takeuchi, a glittering holographic coating, an extra-large size, premium paper, French flaps, and a newly-revised translation!

Get it here

 

Attack on Titan Season 3 Manga Box Set + Attack on Titan Anthology

For: Perfect for any anime fan looking to jump into the manga series. Also great for the new fan wanting to know what the hype is all about.

What’s inside: It might be bad that humanity is boxed in, but it’s good that these books are! You can buy Attack on Titan manga in accordance with the anime, which makes both platforms all the more enjoyable!

Get it here

The Ghost In The Shell Deluxe Complete Box Set + The Ghost In The Shell: Global Neural Network

For: Fans of science-fiction worldbuilding and timeless art. Folks intrigued by the movie and who might enjoy the source material. A beautiful set of books to display or to give as a gift!

What’s inside: Includes three large-sized hardcover volumes, plus a collectible lithograph by creator Shirow Masamune!

Get it here

Princess Jellyfish Complete Box Set

For: Anyone dealing with the struggles of moving into a place on your own and not feeling good enough. A great present for a recent college grad!

What’s inside:  The complete story of Tsukimi, a girl obsessed with jellyfish, and her geeky friends. This massive set includes a bonus “Clara” jellyfish keychain and a huge poster with the Amars’ motto, “A Life With No Use for Men,” in English on one side and Japanese on the other. The box contains all nine volumes of the Princess Jellyfish manga, including a full-color illustration gallery, author interviews, extensive cultural annotations, and a look inside the creator’s studio.

Get it here

A Silent Voice Complete Series Box Set

For: This YALSA award winning series is great for any teen. Fantastic gift for fans of the movie or newcomers!

What’s inside:  The acclaimed, best selling manga about a girl who can’t hear and the boy who bullied her, from start to finish, in a premium, collectible box set. Includes all seven volumes, plus an exclusive, double-sided 10-by-15-inch poster and a replica of Shoko’s communication notebook.

Get it here

AX2019 recap: all of our new licensing announcements and more!

 July 17 UPDATE: Atsushi Ohkubo Q&A at Anime Expo 2019 + autograph giveaway!

During Anime Expo 2019, Atsushi Ohkubo, creator of Fire Force, shared his thoughts behind the creation of the hit animated series! 

Q. First question I’d like to ask: is this your first time in the U.S.?

Atsushi Ohkubo (AO): Yes, it’s the first time for me to be in the U.S.

Q. What did you do during your break between Soul Eater and Fire Force?

AO: I was playing video games.

Q. What inspired Fire Force?

AO: Firefighters are the closest things to heroes in our real lives, but there aren’t that many fictional or fantasy works that touch on the subject of their work. So I got interested in making a manga about it. Ever since I was little, I always thought firefighters in uniforms were really cool, riding around fire engines with sirens blaring, heading off to put out fires. There are a few existing stories about firefighters in realistic settings, but nothing about firefighters in a fantasy world. So I wanted to give it a shot. I was also inspired by those firefighters who were working hard to save people’s lives during disasters like 911 in the U.S. and 311 in Japan. 

Q. Soul Eater and Fire Force both have supernatural overtones. What is it that you love about the supernatural genre?

AO: The biggest thing for me is I’m trying to bring out expressions unique to manga, that aren’t possible in any other medium. When I was working on Soul Eater, I was trying to bring out the best work possible at that time. If some of those attempts went well, I remembered them, so I could use them again in new work but in different ways. Those aspects might appear again in Fire Force, as similar motifs.

Q. Which character in Fire Force do you feel closest to?

AO: Haumea and Arther. Haumea is an evil character, and I could be evil. Arther is an idiot, and I could also be an idiot.

Q. For the fans here that want to become a manga artist, what advice would you like to give them?

AO: First, you should try to draw whatever you want. Then show your work—let’s say to ten people—to get some feedback. If ten out of ten people say, “I don’t understand what’s going on here,” then it’ll become very clear what you have to fix.

Q. Any message you’d like to give the fans?

AO: In Fire Force, Shinra and Company 8 are the main characters of the series, but many more unique and tricky firefighters are going to enter the story later on. I’ve worked very hard on this manga, and the animation staff has worked very hard on the anime. So I hope you’ll enjoy them!

Thank you!

July 17 UPDATE: Atsushi Ohkubo autograph giveaway!

For those of you wanted to meet Ohkubo-sensei, but weren’t at Anime Expo, here’s good news! Ohkubo-sensei created an autographed Fire Force shikishi for a lucky Kodansha Comics fan—and we’re giving it away as a part of #KC10YRS July Spotlight: Fire Force Survey Sweepstakes!

All you have to do is take this survey before July 31 to enter for a chance to win this special Fire Force shikishi autographed by Atsushi Ohkubo himself!

Our original July 6 recap:

‘Twas extra-hot at Anime Expo this year—well, not so much the actual temperature (it was sweltering last year), but with the brand-new anime Fire Force world premiere and our special Fire Force guests making Hollywood-style appearances at the show! Plus we had a ton of new manga and anime projects revealed for the first time! Here’s the action-packed rundown:

July 4 (Thursday) Fire Force creator Atsushi Ohkubo  made his first-ever appearance in the U.S. with his editor Megumu Tsuchiya at the Live Drawing Panel hosted by Funimation and Kodansha Comics. Both guests shared behind-the-scenes stories of making the hit manga series and turning it into the most anticipated anime of the season. When Ohkubo-sensei finished three amazing sketches, the entire crowd played rock-paper-scissors with him to determine who gets to take it home. Congratulations to the lucky winners!

Meanwhile, the legendary creator Katsuhiro Otomo of Akira fame emerged to reveal he is directing his third animated feature, Orbital Era. Akira itself is also getting a reboot with a new anime adaptation project underway. And finally—great news for true manga fans—Kodansha, Ltd. (our Japanese parent company) will be publishing a retrospective collection, Otomo: The Complete Works, in Japan. More details coming soon!


Hey! We’re also releasing a very limited quantity of our Akira 35th Anniversary Box Set, one last time, this summer.

July 5 (Friday)  Fans watched the amazingly animated and fully dubbed first episode of Fire Force anime at the exact same day as its debut in Japan. Not only that, fans got to enjoy it together with original creator Atsushi Ohkubo himself sitting in the audience! Ohkubo-sensei shared his excitement to share the special moment with the fans and what to look forward to in upcoming episodes. 

July 6 (Saturday) Kodansha Comics and Vertical made new licensing announcements for 2019 and 2020!

Coming (very) soon as digital-firsts!


The Great Cleric By Broccoli Lion and Hiiro Akikaze (character designs by sime) The manga based on the hit light novel series (Japanese title: Seija musou), about an ordinary salaryman who cheats death and now must find his way in another world—as a great healer. Coming July 23!


The Slime Diaries: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime By Shiba (based on story and character designs by Fuse and Mitz Vah) Gut-busting 4-panel gag comix based on the smash-hit isekai saga about that guy who got reincarnated as a slime! Coming July 30!


Goodbye! I’m Being Reincarnated! By Kenji Saito and Parabora From Trinity Seven creator Kenji Saito comes a new manga series (Japanese title: Goodbye! Isekai tensei) about an ordinary high school guy’s big chance to become the one true great hero when one day he’s greeted by a princess from another world! Coming August 6!


The Knight Cartoonist and Her Orc Editor By Indo So and Takafumi Sato Reverse otherworld-incarnation hijinx about an orc reborn in this world as … a manga editor! And the knight who becomes a … manga artist! If you’re looking for a unique insider look into the manga industry, this is it (maybe)! Coming August 13! 

Coming soon in print!

 


Saint Young Men By Hikaru Nakamura One of the most-anticipated manga of all time, now available digitally, comes to print! On sale just in time for Christmas!


Beyond the Clouds
By Nicke The lush science-fiction fantasy taking Japan and Europe by storm! Coming 2020!


Knight of the Ice By Yayoi Ogawa A figure-skating romantic comedy perfect for fans of shojo such as OTOMEN and Princess Jellyfish, from the creator of You’re My Pet! Coming 2020!


Farewell, My Dear Cramer By Naoshi Arakawa The digital-first soccer manga from the creator of Your Lie in April comes to print! On sale in 2020!


Rent-A-Girlfriend By Reiji Miyajima In Japan, the lonely have a new way out—online services that rent out dads, children, and, yes, even girlfriends! Coming 2020!


Living-Room Matsunaga-san By Keiko Iwashita The bestselling digital-first boarding-house love story becomes available in print! Coming 2020!

Perfect World By Rie Aruga The digital-first hit about the moving love story between a woman who reunites with her childhood crush, who now uses a wheelchair, will be available in print! Coming 2020!

Sue and Tai-chan By Kanata Konami The adorable new odd-couple cat comedy from the creator of Chi’s Sweet Home and Chi’s Sweet Adventures! Coming 2020!

Sweat and Soap By Kintetsu Yamada A startlingly fresh story about loving and leaving shame behind! Coming 2020!

Something’s Wrong With Us By Natsumi Ando From the creator of Kitchen Princess and Arisa, this suspense story about a man and woman who are connected by the world of traditional Japanese sweets will have readers dying to know what happens next. Perfect for fans of shojo with an edge! Coming 2020!


Yuzu the Pet Vet By Mingo Itou Ready your sweet tooth, it’s time to visit the Woof-Meow Animal Hospital! Your doctor today will be expert pet vet Yuzu-chan! Coming 2020! 


Saiyuki By Kazuya Minekura The original bishies are back, in 400-page hardcovers featuring new translations! Coming 2020!

Chobits and Clover By CLAMP  Two more masterworks from the manga supergroup come to our Kodansha Classics line!  Details to come!

Coming soon from Vertical!

A Trail of Blood By Shuzo Oshimi From the creator of The Flowers of Evil and Happiness, comes a new suspense drama of a mother’s love that has gone too far … Coming Spring 2020!

The Daily Lives of High School Boys By Yasunobu Yamauchi High school boys, be fools! Follow the bizarre adventures of Tadakuni, Hidenori and Yoshitake at the all boys, Sanada North High School. This is a high school slice of life comedy that will keep you laughing. Coming Spring 2020!


Owarimonogatari
By NISIOISIN (illustrations by VOFAN) The new artwork for the part 1 of the novel revealed! Coming in October 2019!

Well, that’s it, for now!

Next stop: San Diego Comic Con!

 

 

 

 

Digital-first Manga Sale, Part 2: Saint Young Men + 50 series up to 50% off!

As mentioned last week, Kodansha Comics has published over 100 digital-first series and to help get you into those manga gems in our digital library, we’re hosting our two-fisted Digital-first Manga Sale, where all volumes of selected series are up to 50% off at our digital retail partners: BookWalkercomiXology, Google Play, Kindle, and nook. (Sale ends June 24.)

What are “digital-firsts”?

• First are the true “digital-firsts”—the ones that come out first digitally, then become available in print as well. Tokyo Tarareba Girls,The Quintessential Quintuplets,  Grand Blue Dreaming, and Boarding School Juliet all started out this way—and we’ve got several more exciting announcements to come in the months ahead!

If it’s not in print yet, tell us what you like! You can fill out this form to give us your feedback. The road to getting a book licensed in print can be a long and winding one, and we can’t always reply to requests directly, but we are listening—and we really do love and appreciate your opinions, no matter how crazy! 

• Then, for those of you who gotta stay exactly up to date, there’s our simulpubs, which are chapters from selected series published the same day they come out in Japan: you can read simulpubs on Crunchyroll and comiXology.

• Finally, digital-firsts allows us to bring back some of our favorite out-of-print titles—like BECKInitial D, Rave MasterDragon Head, Peach Girl, MARS, and You’re My Pet—that might not otherwise be available!

Questions?—check out our Digital-first manga page to see what’s in store!

Digital-first Manga Sale, Part 2: L-Z

For the second installment this week, we’re putting on sale all digital-first series with titles starting with the letters L-Z—which includes series like soon to be animated Magical Sempai, ’90s shojo megahit Peach Girl and its follow-up Peach Girl Next, and the most talked-about and highly anticipated comedy manga this decade, Saint Young Men! Check out the full list of series on sale below! 

Kodansha Comics Digital-First Manga Sale
Part 2: L-Z (June 18-24) 

Click on links below for free Chapter 1 previews!

Liar x Liar
Living-Room Matsunaga San
Love Massage: Melting Beauty Treatment
Love’s Reach
Lovesick Ellie
Magical Sempai
Mikami-sensei’s Way of Love
Momo’s Iron Will
Museum
My Boy in Blue
My Boyfriend in Orange
My Brother The Shut-In
My Pink is Overflowing
My Sweet Girl
My Wife is Wagatsuma-san
Nodame Cantabille
NOiSE
Peach Girl
Peach Girl Next
Peach Heaven
Peach Mermaid
Perfect World
Pitch-Black Ten
The Prince’s Black Poison
Prince’s Romance Gambit
Princess Resurrection
Princess Resurrection Nightmare
PTDS Radio
Pumpkin Scissors
Rave Master
Real Girl
Saint Young Men
Sayonara, Football
School Rumble
Seven Shakespeares— available only on comiXology and Kindle
Shojo Fight
Space Brothers
A Springtime with Ninjas
Starving Anonymous
Stray Bullet Baby
Suzuka
The Tale of Genji: Dreams at Dawn
Those Summer Days
Tokyo Alice
Tokyo Revengers
Trap in a Skirt
Tsuredure Children
Unlimited Fafnir
Until Your Bones Rot
The Walls Between Us
Wave, Listen to Me!
The Wizard and His Fairy
World’s End and Apricot Jam
The Yagyu Ninja Scroll
You Got Me, Sempai!
Yozakura Quartet

Read the essay: “Hikaru Nakamura’s Saint Young Men Power”—Volume 1 on sale now

The most talked-about and highly anticipated manga of recent years, Hikaru Nakamura’s Saint Young Men—is finally here in English. Volume 1 goes on sale as a digital edition on April 23 at all of Kodansha Comics’s partner digital platforms, including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, Kobo, MyAnimeList, and nook.

Nakamura’s sly comedy documents the everyday life of two not-so-ordinary young men sharing an apartment in modern-day Tokyo: Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha. Published in 16 volumes (and still ongoing) under the Japanese title Seinto oniisan in Japan, Saint Young Men Volume 1 goes on sale April 23, with subsequent volumes to be released once a month thereafter. Click on the cover—or scroll below—to read a free preview!

Volume 1 also features a specially-penned afterword by British Museum curator Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere. “Who would have thought that Buddha would have a passion for manga? What Nakamura has managed to do with Saint Young Men is to entertain, stimulate and keep us addicted to this wonderful friendship that never fails to make you see life around you slightly differently as a result,” writes Rousmaniere, who helped acquire pages from Saint Young Men for the British Museum’s genga collection.

To celebrate the occasion of Saint Young Men‘s English-publication debut, we’re presenting the entirety of Rousmaniere’s afterword, right here:

Afterword: Hikaru Nakamura’s Saint Young Men Power

By Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere, IFAC Handa Curator of Japanese Arts, British Museum and Research Director of Sainsbury Institute, University of East Anglia

Perhaps it was Jesus and Buddha looking like tourists and wearing slogan T-shirts on the cover of the first volume of Hikaru Nakamura’s Saint Young Men that first compelled me to pick up the manga at Kyoto Station in 2008. But from that moment I was hooked. My love affair with this manga shows no sign of abating at Volume 16 and I can only rejoice that Nakamura sensei’s work is being translated into English and will become available to English-speaking audiences with this new Kodansha edition.

Shortly after purchasing the first volume in Japan we accessioned it into the British Museum Japan section library and then shortly afterward displayed it in the Mitsubishi Corporation Japanese Galleries in the manga section display (Room 94). Soon we were trending on Twitter, and happily in a very positive light.

Only Hikaru Nakamura could have created a manga that centers on the theme of Buddha and Jesus renting a flat together in Tachikawa, Tokyo. The premise is that they are taking a gap year on Earth in order to understand modern Japanese life. They attempt to hide their identities and share everyday adventures, resulting in often hilarious situations. The series started off as a short-run gag manga in 2006 in Kodansha’s magazine Morning 2 under the encouragement of chief editor Kôhei Furukawa, and is still going strong and gaining more and more followers with each tankôbon (graphic novel) release.

Hikaru Nakamura is a young and incredibly popular manga artist who specialises in comedy. She broke into the mainstream manga world with her work Arakawa Under the Bridge (started in 2005), which chronicles the adventures of a compelling tribe of homeless characters living under a bridge in Tokyo. Her work was formally recognised in 2009 when she was awarded the prestigious Tezuka Osamu prize for her short stories for Saint Young Men.

Such was the interest at the British Museum in manga in general and in Hikaru Nakamura’s work in particular, I was able to curate a compact Asahi Shimbun “Objects in Focus” display at the British Museum at the very front of the museum in 2015 titled Manga Now. We featured three generations of manga artists—Chiba Tetsuya (b. 1939), Hoshino Yukinobu (b. 1954) and Nakamura Hikaru (b. 1984)—and in a few months drew close to 100,000 visitors of all ages. Each artist had a bespoke work for the exhibition and we illustrated a representative story from each in translation. The designer wanted the exhibition to feel as if one was entering a manga itself and with the drawings on frames inside the space and not against the wall.

We reached out to Hikaru Nakamura sensei initially, as you may have guessed, on Twitter. Soon afterwards we were lucky to be able to meet her editor at Kodansha, Kôji Tabuchi, who then after a thorough interrogation as to our intentions introduced us to Nakamura sensei herself. I have to admit to being a bit star-struck after following her work for so long. Meeting her was also a revelation. She was refreshingly open in discussing her challenges and discoveries in creating a manga on such a potentially controversial theme. Nakamura sensei mentioned she was surprised by the positive reactions to her manga and that she received a number of letters from religious specialists, university professors, Buddhist priests and Christian clergy. The readership seems quite broad judging by the letters she noted, ranging from young adults to people in their sixties.

Happily she donated a story to the British Museum and chose episode 69, “The Loveable Rascal in a Red Suit,” when Jesus Christ experiences Christmas, his birthday, in Japan, where the immense popularity of Santa Claus takes him by surprise. To calm down, Jesus takes a walk and accidentally finds his way into a confessional booth in a Catholic church, and confesses to the priest his unexpected jealousy of Santa’s popularity. I will not give the rest of the story away, but believe me it will be worth the wait for the translation. Her donation of this story was our own Christmas present and became pivotal for the Museum’s nascent genga collection and most certainly paved the way for the large manga exhibition at the British Museum in the summer of 2019. When we were creating this display in 2015 Saint Young Men was not yet translated into English as we undertook the task ourselves. Until doing this I had no idea how challenging it would be to translate Nakamura sensei’s puns and word plays into English. She is a wordsmith keeping her references topical to contemporary interests. Even Jesus and Buddha’s T-shirt slogan messages are all carefully curated to give an added punch and smile to her readers.

Nakamura sensei also donated the cover artwork for Volume 10 where Buddha is learning how to draw manga, a newly found passion of his. It is early morning, they have stayed up all night and Buddha is still going strong but Jesus has fallen asleep, G-pen still in hand. Who would have thought that Buddha would have a passion for manga? What Nakamura has managed to do with Saint Young Men is to entertain, stimulate and keep us addicted to this wonderful friendship that never fails to make you see life around you slightly differently as a result.

Digital-first announcement: Hikaru Nakamura’s Saint Young Men debuts April 23

“Digital-first” debuts are back—and this April will see the debut of one of the most talked-about and highly anticipated manga of recent years, Hikaru Nakamura’s Saint Young Men. Nakamura’s sly comedy documents the everyday life of two not-so-ordinary young men sharing an apartment in modern-day Tokyo: Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha. Long rumored for an official English-language release, the wait is now over: Saint Young Men is finally here in English.


Click on the cover—or scroll below—to read a free preview!

Published in 16 volumes (and still ongoing) under the Japanese title Seinto oniisan in Japan, Saint Young Men goes on sale April 23, starting with Volume 1, and with subsequent volumes to be released monthly thereafter. Saint Young Men will be available on all of Kodansha Comics’s partner digital platforms, including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, BookWalker, comiXology, Google Play, Kobo, MyAnimeList, and nook.

Volume 1 also features a specially-penned afterword by British Museum curator Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere. “Who would have thought that Buddha would have a passion for manga? What Nakamura has managed to do with Saint Young Men is to entertain, stimulate and keep us addicted to this wonderful friendship that never fails to make you see life around you slightly differently as a result,” writes Rousmaniere, who helped acquire pages from Saint Young Men for the British Museum’s nascent genga collection.

Media/Reviewers:

For an advance review copy of Saint Young Men, visit the Kodansha Comics page at NetGalley or contact pr@kodanshacomics.com.

Download a press kit containing supporting artwork here.